For every coffee van, mobile dog grooming service and car service van you spot driving around the 'burbs, you can be sure many of them have quit the rat race of the corporate world and are enjoying being their own boss.
The idea of choosing your own hours and having a more flexible working life has seen a boom in mobile franchises in Australia. People who are worried about being made redundant (or who have been made redundant) are finding they can earn a decent wage by forking out as little as $5,000 for a franchise.
Franchise Expert Tracey Eaton says there is more awareness about the benefits of buying a franchise, particularly as the threat of redundancy lingers in some industries.
"Low-cost entry is making it attractive for people to take on a mobile franchise, effectively buying a wage and job security. A mobile coffee van business costs as little as $40,000 to purchase with the potential of making as much as $100,000 in revenue a year," Eaton said.
"People don't realize 50 percent of jobs that exist today won't exist in ten years and they may want to buy their own business to safeguard them from being affected," she said.
"Nearly half a million Australians are employed directly in franchising and the annual sales turnover for the country's entire franchising sector is estimated at $144 billion. You can work your hours around your family and, depending on your industry, your business can offer flexible hours and work days."
"Also, buying under a recognized brand gives you an edge. You can start from scratch and create regular income, so long as you put in the hard work."
There are hunderds of thousands of franchises and Eaton expects that number to continue climbing.
"Existing franchisors are even extending their current business to allow for mobility and tap into the demand from consumers to access services from home."
"Fast food giant McDonald's are piloting door-to-door delivery and other smaller food services have already launched this."
Christie Jordee left the corporate world to start her own cleaning business. For her, it was the best thing to do after leaving her job that was making her incredibly unhappy.
"I was working in a very stressful corporate job. I was so stressed I was hardly sleeping. I was so unhappy at work, even though I loved the industry, that I had a chat with my aunt who had just bought a cleaning franchise. I said, 'I'm not going to do the cleaning!' but when I saw how much she was earning, I quickly changed my mind," Jordee said.
"I'm now earning more money, with less stress, than I was in my corporate job. It was stressful in the beginning because it takes time for a business to get off its feet. But my cleaning business is doing so well it wasn't long before I had to hire other people to help."
Jordee advises other people who want to follow in her footsteps to remember that any business is hard work in the very beginning. She says you need to be prepared to work hard and fast in the first few months and not get disheartened.
"When you buy a franchise, don't think you're buying a job; you're buying a business. Some people think you can sit on your bum and work just comes to you. It doesn't work that way! It's a business and, if you put your head down, bum up, especially in those first six months, you won't have to spend much on advertising. You'll be able to get by with word of mouth if you take pride in what you do."